Get FREE Trade Show Marketing Tips in Your Inbox! Click Here

Distractions are Everywhere- How to Get Your Visitors Full Attention

Studies show that we have 7 seconds to capture someone’s attention. That means your trade show booth must be designed with the correct intentionality. In this blog post, we’ll discuss a few ways you can become a better “attention grabber.”

Define your goals

What are the goals of your booth? Are you looking to distribute giveaway items, trying to get direct sales, or simply collect information of the visitors? No matter which it is, understanding what your goals at the trade show are will help you dictate the appropriate ways to grab an individual’s attention. Here are a few examples:

  1. Giving away items: If your goal is to distribute items as a giveaway and to build your brand voice, try making it a game. Maybe something with lights, sounds, or by providing individuals who encourage passersby to engage. You could try the following games: Pachinko – Immediate gift giveaway, Raffle Tickets – Announcement of winners each hour.
  2. Getting direct sales: If your goal is to get direct sales, give a discount for individuals who purchase at the show, and provide a means of which them doing so.  You could also try the following concepts: Announce a new product – Special-opportunity just at the show,  or schedule “next steps” appointments to close the sale in your office.
  3. Collecting information: If your goal is to just collect information, provide some sort of a trade for their information. Some trade ideas you could use to collect include giveaways, discounts, contests, etc. You can collect information via surveys, a Business Card Scanner or by using lead retrieval.

Engage them in the booth

Great, you got people into the booth (or to stop out front of it). Now what? Well, you must be able to further attract your audiences as they are engaged in what you have to offer. The main elements that you need to have in your booth include:

  1.  The correct people: As we have discussed in the past, it’s crucial to have the correct people in your booth. This includes individuals who are:
    1. Warm and welcoming
    2. Passionate
    3. Understanding and willing to listen

Once you have the ideal audiences in your booth, it’s up to the people to engage them appropriately.

Create & distribute appropriate collateral: Guess what? Not everyone will be looking for a large conversation. So, make sure you have collateral that’s available to be digested at a later time. Some of this data includes:

  1. Business cards
  2. RAC Cards
  3. Minizines

Engaging people in the booth should be personal and emotional. This is the time you are allowed to be a little more informal (still professional) in engaging your potential clients.


How do you let them leave

How people leave your booth can really determine how they remember the experience. Was it exciting, unique, or just plain awkward? Make sure that you’re intentional about having a “walk away” strategy.

Think about Jimmy John’s for example. Part of their branding is yelling “hello” and “goodbye” in a friendly way. Because of this, you leave Jimmy John’s with a good sandwich and a memorable experience.

What’s your “Jimmy John’s” goodbye for your trade show booth?

Grabbing the attention of your trade show audience is completely up to you. Go ahead and be intentional, you know your audience better than anyone.



tradeshows timeline sheet calucaltion roi
Trade Show Planning Timeline (PDF)

Download this all-in-one trade show planning timeline to keep track of your trade show deadlines. Our timeline includes exhibit design & build tasks, technology considerations, pre-show promotions, booth staff tasks, lead management and miscellaneous items. Also included is; budget planning information, a booth staff schedule, typical show services deadline list and a budget calculator perfect for trade show veterans and those newer to the industry.

Greg Johnson
About the Author

Greg Johnson is the Managing Director at Skyline Exhibits Utah. He has 20 years of industry experience with more than 12 of that spent within the Skyline network. Greg previously held the position of Sr. Director of Global Marketing and Events at a global technology company. With his expertise in marketing, design and customer service, Greg has an unquenchable enthusiasm for your trade show success. For more information on trade show displays, trade show booths, and trade show exhibits in the greater Salt Lake City area of Utah, please visit

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Stay Up To Date